In the exhibition series entitled The Collection Illuminated by…, the Nederlands Fotomuseum invites successive guest curators to make their own personal selections from the museum’s rich and varied collection. For the eighth exhibition in the series, the ‘guest curator’ brought in by the Nederlands Fotomuseum is smart software capable of selecting images independently on the basis of specific instructions.
The instructions – also known as an ‘algorithm’ – were created by Frank van der Salm taking specific features of his own work as the starting point. In an interactive installation combining Van der Salm’s oeuvre with the rich Collection of the Nederlands Fotomuseum and a selection of images from Instagram, the algorithm trained based on the data input by Frank van der Salm is applied. With this presentation we investigate the important role artificial intelligence can play in collecting and selecting photography. Who decides what terms should be used in searches and captions, and based on what criteria? Should we be concerned about who trains the algorithms and with what intentions? The algorithm as curator, as archivist and as guardian of our online photo albums… Is this the future?

The exhibition will be on show at the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam from 2 July 2021 – 9 January 2022.the